The Cardinals’ new stadium in Glendale is bringing with it unsurpassed excitement for the team’s fans this season. But it is also costing those fans a chance to see the team’s annual training camp scrimmage.
Because coach Dennis Green desires a dress rehearsal for the Cards at their new palace prior to opening the preseason there Aug. 12 against Pittsburgh, the team will hold its scrimmage Aug. 5 at Cardinals Stadium.
The stadium comes on line Aug. 1, after the team has already started camp, and players will need to know where to park and where the locker rooms are in addition to getting a feel for the playing surface of the new facility.
But because of logistical issues — including a lack of parking for the event, which would be expected to draw a large crowd with it in the Valley as opposed to Flagstaff — the scrimmage will be closed to the public, director of media relations Mark Dalton said. Normally, the scrimmage is open for fans and is packaged with a team-wide autograph session at Northern Arizona University’s Walkup Skydome.
The news coincided with Friday’s official release of the team’s training camp schedule. Moving the scrimmage eliminates the lone weekend workout held by the Cards in Flagstaff, because the team doesn’t begin practice until the morning of July 31, a Monday. Players report the night before.
Because of other logistical problems with dorm space at NAU, the team will have an abbreviated time at camp. The Cardinals will be in Flagstaff only three weeks, with the final two practices coming Aug. 17.
Following the team’s second preseason game at New England Aug. 19, the Cardinals will complete their preseason work at their complex in Tempe, meaning fans can watch workouts a total of 14 days.